Floridians woke up on Thursday morning after devastating scenesOne of the most powerful hurricanes ever hit the US, causing widespread destruction along the state’s west coast.
The storm, which made landfall on Wednesday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, inundated many buildings and roads, broke roofs, trapped people in their homes and left millions of residents out of power. Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm early Thursday, but forecasters warned that the risk of “catastrophic” flooding would continue as Ian moved eastward. It was expected to move to the Carolinas later this week.
Officials were still assessing the situation in Florida, but the following photos offer a glimpse of the damage.
One of the hardest-hit cities was Fort Myers, just north of Ian’s Landfall. The photos show several boats damaged by the storm as well as submerged roads and buildings.
Punta Gorda, a small town and county seat in Charlotte County, was woken Thursday by heavy flooding, collapsed buildings and debris and fallen trees on its streets.
Bartow, the county seat of Polk County, suffered strong winds and heavy rain that toppled trees, power lines and signs of businesses.
The storm also destroyed a large part ofwhich connects Sanibel Island to the Florida mainland, cutting off access to the barrier island where about 6,400 people normally live.
Flood rain from Tropical Storm Ian devastated central Florida on Thursday. In Orlando, first responders helped evacuate a nursing home when floodwaters rose.